ROSTOV-ON-DON, July 29 (RIA Novosti) - The first group of members of the OSCE’s permanent mission is arriving to Rostov-on-Don and will hold a meeting with the region’s authorities, the Russian Foreign Ministry, heads of the border and customs services, a spokesman for the Rostov Region government told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
“A meeting between the members of the OSCE delegation, heads of the customs and border services, Russian Foreign Ministry representatives in the region and chaired by the Rostov Region’s Deputy Governor Vadim Artyomov, is scheduled for Wednesday,” Aleksander Titov said, adding that they will discuss the mission’s further actions.
Thirteen of the OSCE’s 19 observers are expected to arrive to the Rostov Region Tuesday, including the nationals of France, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Eight of them will cross the Russia-Ukrainian border in a few hours, others, including France’s Paul Picard, the mission’s head, will arrive by plane from Moscow.
The remaining six members of the mission are scheduled to arrive in Rostov-on-Don on July 30-31. The group will then head to the city of Kamensk-Shakhtinsky in Rostov Region, where the OSCE mission will open its office.
Rostov Region borders with eastern Ukraine’s Donbas Region, the scene of fighting between the Ukrainian Army and independence forces refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the new government.
The fighting intensified after Donetsk and Luhansk regions proclaimed themselves independent people’s republics. Hundreds of people, including civilians have died in both regions over the past months.
Moscow has described the ongoing military action as a punitive operation and has repeatedly called on Kiev to put an immediate end to the bloodshed. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has also urged the international community to intervene and investigate the crimes against humanity that have occurred in Ukraine in recent months.